The best bit of recruiting advice I ever had.


Its Monday morning.  Everything in your world is going great.  You’ve had a great weekend, you are back at your desk, you love your job and your team is performing miracles.  Your Boss loves you.  You walk on water.  Everything in the garden is rosy.

In walks your star performer.  You know the one, we all have them.  The one you can’t do without.  They utter the immortal line

“Can I have a word”.  We all know what comes next.  They are going to resign and you didn’t see it coming.

Are you calm, collected and considered?  Do you over –  react, are you angry?  Do you panic?

If someone has gotten to the point whereby they have decided to resign you have lost them.   You may be able to paper over the cracks, to buy them back temporarily with the promise of riches now and tomorrow but it’s never just about the money.  The reason why they have made the decision in the first place to resign will simply re – appear at some point in the future.

Buying you more time may well make business sense in the short term, but the psychological contract between employer and employee has been broken.  The trust that made you bond so successfully as a team has gone.  So what do you do?

The natural reaction is to get someone in to replace them quick.  After all, you couldn’t possibly do without them.

It will take time to identify the right hire for your organisation.  And so it should.  After all, the right people are an organisations greatest asset.  You should take your time to get it right.

The average cost of hire is 25% of salary.  Research evidences that the cost of getting it wrong will cost up to 40 times salary, depending on the level of hire.  You simply cannot afford to get it wrong.

There is simply no other business process that would be left to chance in the same way that hiring is.  Yet getting it wrong can ruin a business.

One piece of advice has stuck with me since the very first time I was tasked with hiring.  Its simple.

Hire slow, fire fast.

Remember that next time someone asks to “have a word”.  It’s the best piece of recruitment advice I have ever had.

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